Nanomaterials for Agriculture, Environmental remediation and Energy (NAERE)

Nano-agriproducts development by encompassing a full-circle approach is poised to enable researchers and industries, in meeting regulatory compliance along with maximizing benefits and minimizing risk among farmers and consumers. Food demand with rapidly increasing population is outpacing sustainable supply and aggravating residue issues. A more efficient agricultural productivity approach – one that uses less agrochemicals but is highly efficacious – is vital to meeting the global food demand along with protecting environment and human health. Nanotechnology is a multi-disciplinary scientific field that has the potential to revolutionize the agriculture and food industry with new tools, which promise to increase food production and control diseases in a sustainable manner.

Energy is essential for the sustainable development of an economy. Supply of unrestricted energy to ever growing population without impacting the environment negatively is the current challenge. World energy supply largely depends on fossils which is neither sustainable nor environmentally safe. Thus there is a major push towards renewable technologies such as solar, wind, hydrogen and biofuels. Nanomaterials play a crucial role for these next generation renewable technologies owing to their unique electrical, optical and mechanical properties. The unusual quantum properties at nanoscale benefits the charge transport and band engineering enabling high performance of the device. The relevance of these technologies could further be increased through materials obtained from bioresource that have exciting properties and are cheaply available in abundance.

TERI-Deakin Nanobiotechnology Research Centre is thus primarily focusing on exploiting wide range of unexplored bioresources that offer materials having excellent linear and non-linear optical properties and electrical properties. Efforts are being made on designing hybrid nanomaterials and tailoring their optoelectronic and photonic properties for wide range of applications, particularly energy.

The key thrust areas include:
  • Exploiting materials from untapped bioresources for energy, optoelectronic and photonic devices
  • Designing hybrid nanostructures with properties suitable for various device applications
  • Integrating energy with agriculture